Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli is reportedly admitted in Nairobi Hospital Kenya battling COVID-19.
A tweet by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper saying an African leader is admitted in Nairobi Hospital, added to rumours back home that the COVID skeptic had finally become a victim of his dangerous rhetoric.
The newspaper said without naming names that the leader has reportedly been in Nairobi Hospital for two weeks.
Daily Nation hints at the identity of the leader as one who regularly addresses church congregants and public rallies. It goes on to say he was last seen in public on February 27.
Tanzania’s Magufuli, a devoted Christian, has repeatedly called upon his countrymen and women to pray in response to the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
Magufuli has denied that Tanzania has any COVID-19 cases since the outbreak in March 2019. Recently, he rejected suggestions that the country imports available COVID-19 vaccines.
The claims of Magufuli being sick are also backed by Tanzania’s exiled opposition leader Tundu Lissu who retweeted the Nation story, saying he believed it was Magufuli that had been hospitalized.
“It’s a sad comment on his stewardship of our country that it’s come to this: that he himself got COVID-19 and flown out to Kenya in order to prove that prayers, steam inhalations and other unproven herbal concoctions he’s championed are no protection against coronavirus,” Tundu Lissu said.
Magufuli, 61 was last seen in public on Feb. 24 during a tour of the commercial hub, Dar es Salaam, where he inspected projects and addressed public gatherings.
The president was scheduled to attend a virtual heads-of-state summit for the East African Community regional bloc on Feb. 27, but was represented by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
He has been under pressure as religious leaders call upon the government to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak this year.
Religious leaders, especially the Catholic Church, have reported deaths in their ranks who they suspect were a result of COVID-19.
However the Tanzanian government has slowly started to advise the public to social distance and follow different SOPs like hand washing and sanitizing.
There is no official communication from the Tanzanian government so far on the reports that President Magufuli maybe unwell.